I noticed an experiment yesterday in a Portland area park located atop a dormant volcano where an adult and a child had drawn their designs for a future home. Mind you this is in no way scientific, but does match other examples I have heard. Dr. Saul Griffith in DC last year mentioned a young girls idea for an invention for a mechanical cow to eat and then proceed to wash her laundry and spit it out the “end” folded.
I was flying a UAS (unmanned aerial system aka drone) in Portland’s beautiful Mt Tabor park and noticed the chalk drawings on the surface I was using as a launch site. One was by a child who proudly put her name on it and the other obviously an adult and I will hopefully show how I deduced that.
Aerial of the concrete surface aka drawing surface and drone landing pad that is possibly an underwater storage tank.
Here is the child's design for a house complete with a jungle gym play structure and wings so that it could fly and apparently a quick disconnect driveway named Skydrive. Hopefully Microsoft doesn’t initiate legal action against the young child for copyright issues on the term “skydrive.” Apparently this child is both smart and organized even adding a storage area in their design.
The house wing design seems like it has structural consideration in the design but no hint of the type of propulsion system to keep the house flying, but it’s a child's design and could simply fly on magical power sources or a herd of unicorns - Its Portland after all.
Ok now the unveiling of the adults design….<insert drum roll and bad bagpipe playing here>
The design is complete with fishing pond and an escalator to a giant bottle of alcohol. Nice ability to draw perspective, but no hint of flying and then there was the creepy huge spider inhabiting this jaded adult’s design for a house.
I do admit I like the escalator to a big cold beer and fishing hole, but wish my house could fly.
Imagination is part of being creative and the fact is children don’t yet have limits and bias to limit their imagination. I am always amazing when discussing engineering and design with kids and the solutions they suggest.
The young are the future and more engineers, artists, and architects are a great thing to have in this world and needed and exactly why Autodesk gives all their software away with design curriculum to students and faculty worldwide at http://students.autodesk.com/ in addition to having 123D consumer software specifically designed for kids. I will admit I usually try to get the kids attention with examples of rocket engine tests as that almost always gets their attention then you can steer discussions on design and more importantly listen and discuss with the m but don’t easily dismiss their ideas no matter ho9w wild they may seem. Remember their imagination has no bounds and they may bee just thinking outside a box we place ourselves into as we get older.One of the best experiences I had recently at Autodesk was being paired up on a design and build project with a young engineer on my team Evan Atherton. I think both Evan and I both learned something from of our perspectives.
If you have a user group or students wanting to discussion making things, design, rockets, or mechanical cows I am always happy to participate.